- Missouri-based student loan company MOHELA is involved in a Democratic Party lawsuit over Biden’s debt relief.
- Missouri Rep. Cory Bush called on the company to stop “putting profits over people.”
- A judge heard arguments in the case Wednesday and will decide soon whether to stop the plan.
A Democratic lawmaker is calling on Republicans — and a student loan company — to stop trying to block student loan forgiveness from reaching millions of Americans.
On Wednesday, a federal judge heard arguments from lawyers representing President Joe Biden and the six Republican-led states that sued over Biden’s debt relief because they say it would hurt their states’ tax revenue. They also claim it would harm the financial operations of Missouri-based MOHELA Loan Company, where the lawsuit was filed. It’s one of at least five major lawsuits filed by conservatives trying to block student debt forgiveness, but this one differs from the others because of MOHELA’s involvement in the case and the fact that the company has yet to publicly comment on the legal process.
Missouri Rep. Cory Bush said in a statement after Wednesday’s hearing that the case is “the latest example of Republicans and student loan servicers prioritizing profits over people and corporations over constituencies.”
“Missouri-based student loan giant MOHELA has remained silent on the pending lawsuit – seemingly complicit in Republican efforts to prevent more than 40 million borrowers from receiving the debt relief they were promised,” he said. “Actions to delay or prevent the advancement of this financial program will disproportionately harm black and brown borrowers.”
As Missouri’s first district representative, Bush, said, “I urge MOHELA and these six Republican Attorneys General to stop putting profits before the interests of student loan borrowers and stop all activities that interfere with the student loan forgiveness plan the President’s loan. People overwhelmingly support student debt forgiveness, and neither partisan nor corporate interests should prevent borrowers from getting the life-changing relief they need and deserve.”
— Congressman Cory Bush (@RepCori) October 12, 2022
As Insider previously reported, the Republican plaintiff’s attorney argued that student loan forgiveness would cause MOHELA “tremendous” financial harm. While Biden’s attorney argued that GOP states are not allowed to use the student loan company in their argument, the plaintiffs said MOHELA’s revenue directly affects the state and can be used as a defense in court.
Missouri U.S. District Judge Henry Edward Autry, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush and heard the arguments, said lawyers will hear from him “very soon” on whether he decides to stop the debt relief.
The Biden administration is still moving forward with up to $20,000 in debt relief. On Tuesday, it released its first preview of the student loan forgiveness application, which only requires borrowers to enter basic information such as their names and Social Security numbers and, if needed, may be selected to submit additional documentation on the way to verify their incomes fall below the $125,000 threshold. The exact date for the app’s launch has yet to be announced, but the White House has confirmed that it will happen sometime in October.